Sugar first crop near 80,000 tonnes

...Skeldon grinding paltry amounts

The preliminary first crop figure for sugar is just shy of 80,000 tonnes however GuySuCo is still pushing the beleaguered Skeldon factory to make its individual 13,795-tonne target before finally closing the crop.

According to an insider, the Skeldon factory produced a measly seven tonnes of sugar on Wednesday May 28. Placing that into perspective, the world market price for sugar at the end of last week was US$383.16 per tonne, GuySuCo would have produced only US$2682 for the day with high overhead costs. When first conceptualized, the Skeldon factory was intended to produce 110,000 tonnes per annum.

Observers say that allowing the Skeldon factory to run for an entire day to produce just over half a million dollars, calls into question the wisdom of management’s decisions.

This newspaper was made to understand by Skeldon employees that GuySuCo is determined to meet the first-year target for the factory even though the amount being spent to operate the factory is far more than what is being earned. Stabroek News was told that last week not only did GuySuCo produce seven tonnes on a single day, but the rest of the week it did not fare better.

As the first crop enters the month of June, Skeldon is the only factory still grinding with all other factories having closed off for the season.

GuySuCo surpassed the 2014 first crop target at the beginning of May, the target was set low at just under 75,000 tonnes. This figure was historically low as the first crop production targets used to be set anywhere from 85,000 to 110,000 tonnes.

The Skeldon factory’s production is in need of upping with critics calling for GuySuCo to start taking responsibility and act accountably. But year after year the calls by critics and the political opposition have fallen on deaf ears.

Previously, President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand told Stabroek News that GuySuCo should be preparing to present the figures after the first crop total has been finalized. Chand noted that production costs have been lowered over the years, but Skeldon is a far cry from a break-even reality.

Last year the Skeldon factory was rehabilitated by a South African company, with work continuing into this year.

With GuySuCo’s less than stellar performance in the last few years, the 2013 production was only 186,000 tonnes, a 22-year-low. The first crop figure of 48,000 tonnes was the lowest ever first crop figure.

APNU’s Shadow Minister of Agriculture Dr Rupert Roopnaraine has told Stabroek News that since Parliament reconvened he would be reminding Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy of his commitment to have quarterly reports handed over to the National Assembly to keep stakeholders informed on the corporation’s financials. Six months into 2014 not a single report has been provided.

Roopnaraine stated that Skeldon’s fiscal breakdown was a necessary part in understanding how well the industry was doing as a whole.

 

 

 

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

default placeholder

Plug leakages to prevent state resources from bleeding out

Revenues from ExxonMobil’s oil find here could be at least four times Guyana’s national budget at current market prices, and a top US Embassy official here has urged government to move swiftly to implement measures to ensure transparency and accountability.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: